Thursday, April 09, 2009

General Election: A Long Leap of Faith

At Jalan Dipati Ukur Bandung, there's a place which sells delicious gado-gado. Several years ago, a great fire burned the place down, along with several houses besides it.[1] Some of the fire even leapt across the street and singed some roofs.

The government said that the buildings on Jalan Dipati Ukur don't comply to the city's building code and regulations. They're jointed walls-to-walls, providing easy targets for spreading flames.

Only several months after that, a new facility was constructed near the site of fire. A restaurant? Nope. A fire department? You couldn't be more wrong.

It was a gas station.

I couldn't help imagining the discussion went on something like this:

Officials #1: Dang! Jalan Dipati Ukur is dangerously susceptible to fire!

Officials #2: Yes. We need to build something which will lower the chance of incidents. Something that's resistant to fire, for instance.

Officials #1: How about a place which sells gasoline?

Officials #2: Sounds great!

This is just one example of the "common" sense displayed by our government.

And that's the thing about 2009 General Election. Today (April 9th 2009), us Indonesians are supposed to elect our representatives for the local and national legislative bodies (those who make the rules). However, what we also need are executive bodies (those who make daily decisions based on the rules) who can think straight.

Problems are:
  1. We can't see (and haven't seen) how better representatives in the legislative bodies will lead to more competent people in the executive bodies

  2. What's worse, we can't see how there could be better representatives in the legislative bodies, when their campaign posters look like they're selling fried chickens, assimilating themselves with imaginary figures like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and Mr. Bean (the latter isn't exactly popular because of his intelligence) or gladly showing that they're still babies.

As long as those two problems exist, voting in the General Election will always be a long leap of faith and have worse percentages than gambling. So if you'll excuse me, I need to get my dice before going to the voting booth.


[1]: The place reopened only a month after the fire, which shows how tenacious we can get sometimes.